Pas berated by Guan Eng

UNACCEPTABLE: DAP leader takes issue with Pakatan Rakyat ally over ‘khalwat’ summonses

(NST) – PAS has come under fire from all quarters including its ally, DAP, following a report that municipal enforcement officers in Pas-ruled Kelantan had issued summonses for khalwat (close proximity) to four non-Muslims.

In a statement yesterday, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng urged Pas leaders to take action against the officers who allegedly issued the summonses to the non-Muslims.

“If the Kelantan Pas-led government fails to act against errant municipal council saboteurs who issue summonses against non-Muslim for indecent behaviour, this will adversely undermine Pakatan Rakyat’s message of respect for freedom of religion and damage existing cooperation within PR.”

Lim, who is also the Penang chief minister, said he had also directed Bukit Bendera member of parliament Liew Chin Tong to speak to the Pas leadership to get an immediate resolution on issues relating to the allegations of non-Muslims being subjected to Islamic laws.

In Kota Baru, political parties and non-Muslim organisations had criticised local authorities in Kelantan for taking such action against the non-Muslims.

Gerakan Youth vice-chairman Ong Khang Woon said the action was unthinkable and a gross misuse of power.

“I have asked my Muslim friends and they told me that there is not a verse in the Quran which allows action to be taken against non-Muslims for khalwat,” said Ong, who is also Kelantan Gerakan Youth information chief.

Ong said action should be taken instead against the municipal enforcement officers who issued the summonses as they might have other motives.

Kelantan Siamese Association chairman Eh Chot Cha Chan said the Malaysian Constitution guaranteed that Islamic laws would not be imposed on non-Muslims.

“When such an incident happens, there will surely be questions raised by the people.

“All parties including government agencies and local government authorities in the country must respect the Constitution.

“The peace and harmony among the various races and religions must be maintained.”

Kelantan Federation of Ting Hwa Associations chairman Oie Poh Choon also voiced concern over the action of the enforcement officers.

“Such action disrupts the life of non-Muslims. It is unfair for Islamic laws to be imposed on us. I don’t agree to this.”

Meanwhile, the Pas leadership has denied the contents of the report and is threatening to take legal action against English daily, The Star, which published it.

Party’s secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali said contrary to the newspaper’s front-page report yesterday, no summonses for khalwat against the non-Muslims had in fact been issued.

“I have checked with the authorities in Kelantan and found that no such incidents had occurred.

“As such, we have decided to take action against The Star for their misleading report,” he said when contacted yesterday.